Butch’s Rat Hole & Anchor Service, Inc., has been sued in federal court in Midland, Texas two former employees represented by Borsellino, P.C. for alleged overtime violations. Butch’s is an oilfield service company that claims to have, along with its affiliated companies, “over 950 employees in five states.” Butch’s provides various oilfield services, including casing services, which involves laying tubing that is set inside a drilled well to protect and support the wellstream. Casing stabilizes the well and prevents it from caving in on itself. Plaintiffs were employed as members of a casing crew while employed at Butch’s. One of the Plaintiffs performed most of his work in the Permian Basin, in the Midland-Odessa area and in eastern New Mexico. The other Plaintiff worked in the San Angelo area. The overtime pay lawsuit alleges that while employed by Defendant, Plaintiffs routinely worked at least 80-100 hours per week. Defendant paid Plaintiffs a combination of “Footage Pay,” “Location Pay,” a salary, and at times overtime pay. The wage suit further alleges that Butch’s allotted a certain number of hours for its workers to lay pipe (also referred to as “running casing”) on each customer’s project, based on Defendant’s estimate that workers can lay approximately 1,000 feet of pipe per hour. Defendant added some additional hours to each bid to allow time for “rigging up and rigging down.” The oilfield overtime suit further alleges that the total number of hours bid gave Defendant the maximum “Footage Pay” it would pay out to Plaintiffs, as if the project exceeded this set number of bid hours, Defendant then paid Plaintiffs the hourly “Location Hours Pay” rate for all hours worked over the bid hours. However, Defendant failed to account when calculating Plaintiffs’ overtime pay for various types of down time, including (1) travel time between jobs and from the yard to a job site; (2) preliminary and postliminary work, such as loading and unloading Defendant’s trucks and other pre-job assignments both at the yard and the job site; and (3) wait time in which Plaintiffs were required to wait at job sites without the ability to leave said job sites before they could begin their jobs.
Oilfield workers are often wrongfully denied overtime pay. Specifically, oil and gas companies often deny their oilfield workers pay for things like travel time, loading, unloading and other “setup time,” and/or wait time or shop time. Oil and gas companies also sometimes attempt to pay their workers “footage pay” or other piece-rate type payment systems that are based on estimates of how many hours it might take a worker to complete a project. Such payment systems often violate federal and/or state overtime laws. If you or a friend or family member have not been paid overtime by a consulting company, an oilfield service company, oil and gas producer, or pipeline inspection company, consult an experienced overtime attorney to learn your legal rights.
About the author: Josh Borsellino is a Texas overtime attorney who represents workers for unpaid overtime. For a free consultation, call 817.908.9861 or 432.242.7118 or complete this online contact form.